September 12, 2009 / 1:56 AM / 9 years ago

Pierre Cossette "father of Grammys" dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Grammy Awards and TV producer Pierre Cossette, who was known as the “father of the Grammy Awards,” died on Friday in Canada at the age of 85, his spokesman said.

Award winning television producer Pierre Cossette is shown in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters September 11, 2009. Cosette, best known as the longtime producer of the Grammy Awards show, died September 11, 2009 at the age of 85. REUTERS/Handout

Canadian-born Cossette, who was the man responsible for bringing the Grammy Awards to national television in 1971, died of congestive heart failure, spokesman Richard Hoffman said.

Cossette was also instrumental in establishing the annual Latin Grammys in a 60 year career that included work on “The Andy Williams Show”. “The Sammy Davis Jr. Show” and “The Glen Campbell Music Show” in the 1960s.

“It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our dear friend and father of the Grammy Awards, Pierre Cossette,” said Recording Academy president Neil Portnow in a statement.

“Pierre was a creative visionary and one of the most accomplished, versatile and respected producers. It was because of his passion and dedication that the Grammy Awards came to network television close to 40 years ago.”

Cossette produced the annual telecast of the Grammy Awards — the recording industry’s highest honors — for 35 years before retiring in 2005.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant

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